(L-R: Jennifer Jean, Rita Dove, and me)
Mom, this is Rita Dove.
- At her Poets on Poetry talk, Rita Dove spoke fondly about her early career and her early experiences going to the local library. Always an avid reader, she challenged herself to read MacBeth at age 10!
- She talked about the pleasure of reading, and how we as a society should encourage children to read poetry at a very young age. We should encourage them to read poems but not demand they explain them. Their natural curiosity will take over.
- Rita is fluent in German. In her experience, "Learning another language makes you sensitive to the music in your own language. You also learn another way of breathing, trying to convey meaning, how the words sound in the mouth."
- On rhyme: "Rhyme is good--as long as its essential to the poem." [AMEN!] If you can let the rhyme happen, instead of imposing it, the process is longer but if becomes more organic.
And, my favorite quote from her talk: "Every time we put pen to paper, that's an audacious act."